John Gibson: Ladies who lunch were hot stuff

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TEN of us at the table. Hosted by His Excellency Brian Crawford, director of The Dome. We were in George Street’s ever-fashionable eatery/drinkerie for a showbizzy lunch and Mr Crawford had parked me between his chums Lorraine Chase and Christine Hamilton.

Two more volatile women you couldn’t expect to encounter. Raucous, you might say, and both conspicuously attired. Lorraine in a cream Escada suit and shirt, Christine in red with trainers, saying: “Maybe I wore the same here last year.”

She had my ear: “At 40 you’re the square root of bugger all. At 50 you’re in Saga, that’s Sex and Games for the Aged. At 60 you absolutely revel in bus passes and rail passes. Retirement? No way!”

She’s 63, same age as husband Neil, sitting across the table and rehearsing for a speech that evening. A Tory who has joined UKIP, he quipped over a steak: “We’re fed up with Europe. I’m having a T-shirt made saying ‘Will You Kip With me’”

Lorraine, invariably Mr Crawford’s guest at his Duddingston retreat when she’s up here from London, was playing it cool under the Panama hat she bought at Palm Beach.

Just not Dandy

Life without Desperate Dan’s not going to be the same. I was, too, a camp follower of Korky the Cat. Restaurateur Bert D’Agostino, currently trading in North Berwick, briefly opened a restaurant in Frederick Street where I landed him in the soup.

I persuaded Bert to put cow pie, Dan’s favourite dish, on the menu. That prompted a court appearance when Dan’s possessive publishers disapproved.

Pie in the sky would have been a wiser idea.